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Patapsco
2017-06-02, 07:37 PM
But why when it's not the worst selling TF book on the market? Oh yeah, got to get those sweet retweets and tumblr reblogs....

http://i.imgur.com/hOAoK3t.png

Skyquake87
2017-06-02, 08:04 PM
Are these the figures for the floppies, or with digital sales too?

And what does the rest of the comics market look like in terms of sales?

...these are really low numbers, whatever.

TAAO doesn't look to be selling that much less than Lost Light. Maybe its the continuing downward trajectory that's put the brakes on. And my God, who are the people who buy the first issue and then bugger off?

Warcry
2017-06-02, 08:15 PM
Have sales really gotten that bad on all the TF books? Wow. I guess I'm not the only one who's given up in the past half-year. Shit, you've gotta think they're all hanging by a thread at this point.

Hopefully Scott lands another TF gig before long if she's still interested. She was a solid writer, at least going by the scant number of her books that I read.

Unicron
2017-06-03, 01:31 AM
Word I've seen going around is, I believe coming from a blog post or something by Scott, is that IDW gave her the choice between a relaunch/status-quo shake up or be cancelled and she opted for the latter. Reason I keep seeing is that a relaunch would muck up a variety of stories she'd planned as the series progressed.

inflatable dalek
2017-06-03, 06:14 AM
Having not paid attention to the sales figures for a while, I was as surprised as anyone when I saw the drop off. But there's a few things to remember. Most of this comes from chats with my Podcast Maximus pals, so hopefully I've got it right:

TAAO was the worst selling book month on month, remember it started a little before the other two, so the above graph is slightly out of sync there.

Also, as Unicron says, IDW's original idea was a revamp, not cancellation (though considering what Combiner Wars did to the second Windblade, I can see why Scott would rather walk away with her plan intact), so this seems to be a "OK we're going to do something!" level rather than a "We're going to can it!" level. They keep giving Scott work, so they're clearly not that unhappy with 6K ish figures.

The first issues sold much, much better than Ex-0RID and MTMTE had been previously (bar the big push for their 50th issues), so the fall-off isn't as drastic as it might seem, even if it's still not great.

LL's bigger drop-off compared to where it was before is worrying (and some of his tweets recently suggest Roberts is a bit dumbstruck by this, he actually said on twitter the other day that it wasn't the right story to launch with and that's before it's even finished. Annoyingly this kills my "It worked OK as a first issue" arguments if even the writer doesn't think so!), but that book's always the one that's done better digitally and in trades (probably because a lot of the key audience aren't "Traditional" comic buyers), so it's probably on more of a level playing field with OP than it looks.

As to why, I think one factor may be that IDW used to be pretty convinced that 3 was the sustainable number of Transformers books. With all the Hasbro Shared Universe stuff there's now, what, four or five a month with Transformers in? Revolutionaries has been cancelled as well (in the same way as Windblade 2 where they didn't mention it wasn't supposed to be just a miniseries), I think the mean audience is just a little bit more spread out than it was before.

Delays and people who had issues with either finding the reboot a good jumping off point after giving it a brief try haven't helped either of course.

I expect First Strike will be used as an excuse for a rejig for both books as was intended for TAAO. Hopefully a sensible one rather than blind panic.

Brendocon 2.0
2017-06-03, 08:46 AM
Hello hello hello what's all this then me in an IDW comic thread oh my word?

Right, outsider's perspective. This isn't a TF book problem, it's a comic marketplace problem.

Sales drop-offs like this are happening all over the place lately (a Marvel exec hilariously tried to blame it on "too much diversity") and the common consensus seems to be it's the issue 1 factor.

"Oh hey let's relaunch our title, it'll make it more accessible to new readers and also create a huge sales spike because #1s are historically more collectible."

On the face of it, yeah, fine. But over the past couple of years this has actually been an Incredibly Bad Thing.

1) A book having multiple number 1s actually just confuses newer readers, discouraging them from picking it up. (not so much an issue here because retitling, but still).

2) New readers pick up an #1 thinking it's a new series and "a great jumping on point" swiftly realise it's actually chapter 53 of a series that's years-in and quickly jump back off again.

3) (and this is my favourite) - Resetting a book back to #1 actually shaves off a huge chunk of your existing readership. Because it forces people to resubscribe with their comic shop/whoever.

Okay, hardcore fans who pay attention to the internet or read Previews and know that it's going to happen months in advance are fine... but all those word of mouth casual fans that MTMTE picked up because you love it and launched a crusade to make everyone read it? They're gone.

They heard about MTMTE and picked up the trades to catch up and phoned their comic shop and said "hey add this to my pull list" and they go in when they can and they pick up the hard copies that have been put aside for them. Now they're going in and those copies aren't there because they didn't know/forgot that they needed to tell their comic shop "hey can you add this new series that's going to be replacing it."

Or they knew and couldn't be arsed with the hassle because comics are an expensive hobby and sometimes you just need to give someone the excuse to drop singles and switch to trades/digital/drop it entirely.

But because #1s draw in new readers jumping on to see what this new book is, you don't notice the people you've lost. That gets lost in the huge "new series" sales jump. You don't get to see what you've actually caused until 3-4 issues down the line.

So yeah, in the increasingly crowded and more expensive marketplace, relaunching a book with an #1 is tending more and more toward the opposite effect than is intended - it's actively causing people to stop reading your comic.

And that's without even touching on hilarious crossovers like Revolution and saturating their own mini marketplace past the point that TFs can sustain.

Marvel recently announced that Black Panther & The Crew is ending with #6 - they announced this a week after #2 was released. The marketplace is BRUTAL right now. Black Panther already has two books with his name on it, so probably just can't sustain a third. But the most recent Nova relaunch is being binned after #7 and that run has included the return of a character the online fanbase have been clamouring for for nearly 7 years.

And ultimately Marvel are backed by Disney so if they wanted to run a loss on a book or two they could. IDW don't have that luxury.

So yeah, from where I'm stood, that's why your sales are down on everything. With the caveat that I don't know what they were like pre relaunch but hey ho. That's why they'll have had such a huge post-#1 drop-off, anyway.

[EDIT] And we also need to consider that the figures published by Diamond are retailer purchases, not actual physical sales. That's what the comic shops have bought from the distributor, based on previous sales. With #1s those figures are frequently complete guesswork, with it settling down on later issues based on what they're actually moving through of the book.

So to be fair, it may well be that sales of #1 were dogshit too, and retailers didn't bother buying many of subsequent issues because all those number 1s are still clogging up their shelves.

Skyquake87
2017-06-03, 09:11 AM
Have to agree with much of that. Part of the reason I've lost interest in a lot of mainstream comics is the endless relaunches. Marvel thinking success on the big screen = increased comic sales +a license to chuck out half a dozen books based on one character isn't much of a help. Especially when the stories aren't actually any good - Nova was terrible (I had an issue put aside because Death's Head was in it by my local comic shop, but refused it it was so bad), Ghost Rider thought it'd be a good idea to build on the good will generated by the portrayal on Agents Of S.H.E.I.L.D to launch with a sort of latter day New Fantastic Four storyline where most of the scant 5 issues were given over to various shades of Hulk and Wolverine that I'm not buying the book for! Black Panther is a try hard character, in that he's interesting to a point, but has always felt like a supporting character to me (mainly because he's spent much of the last 40 or so years being exactly that).

I'm having a hard time enjoying Spider-Man 2099, which has suffered to some degree of relaunch interference. Perversely, its only interesting when there's a cross-over going on, and Peter David gets the wave to return the character to his own time - which I get the feeling he'd rather be writing about, as that's when the book feels most interesting.

All of this silliness is why I've found myself drawn to the indies, where you kind of know what you're getting - a good, solid series that's probably got an end point in mind and that's okay.

DC seem to have done well with their relaunches, but that seems to me because they give their new stuff enough time to bed in and run before shaking it all up again. Plus, they seem much more like soft reboots and aren't doing anything to discourage long term readers from sticking around (at least it seems that way to me). Or maybe because they're not so frequent as Marvel's.

Whilst I think about it, the big 2 changing up their comics to match what you see in other media always annoys me and instantly turns me off a title. That is just boo.

Maybe we'll get to a point when a new launch series is just endless #1s...

Brendocon 2.0
2017-06-03, 09:21 AM
Maybe we'll get to a point when a new launch series is just endless #1s...

Marvel have the GENERATIONS mini-event coming later this summer, which is literally just a collection of one-shots.

But then they're following that with something called Legacy which, amongst other things, is going to see a load of books resume their old numbering. So maybe they've learned their lesson and are moving toward addressing the situation moving forward.

Probably not though.

Denyer
2017-06-03, 10:58 AM
I'm in the "bought the #1s" camp with LL and OP.

If the books hadn't relaunched I'm pretty sure my MTMTE subscription would still be running, even with misgivings about the opening story/art, removal of a strong and recognisable TF-related MTMTE branding and the cross-franchise bollocks. It sounds like others feel similarly. RID/OP I'm a bit more conflicted about because it's pairing art I like with a writer I find frustrating -- so I'm actually more likely to pick some more up if/when it hits trade than LL. That's at least two great creators being very badly served by the comics company they're doing work for.

Marvel and DC will probably get through the Death of Ideas / Shrinking of the Customer Base despite their recent offerings being reset and rehash (although arguably deserve to less) but it feels like IDW have shot themselves in the feet all the way up to the brain-stem and that unless digital or collected sales are great the TF comics lines are close to over.

Brendocon 2.0
2017-06-03, 12:05 PM
I'm in the "bought the #1s" camp with LL and OP.

If the books hadn't relaunched I'm pretty sure my MTMTE subscription would still be running, even with misgivings about the opening story/art, removal of a strong and recognisable TF-related MTMTE branding and the cross-franchise bollocks.

Ch-ching. This is the thing. Number ones force people to actively opt-in to continue reading the books they're already getting. Dropping a book used to involve taking action, now it's the other way round.

Marvel and DC will probably get through the Death of Ideas / Shrinking of the Customer Base despite their recent offerings being reset and rehash (although arguably deserve to less) but it feels like IDW have shot themselves in the feet all the way up to the brain-stem and that unless digital or collected sales are great the TF comics lines are close to over.

I can't speak for DC's current output, but on the creative side Marvel are full of NEW ideas (and some old ones), but balance is the key thing. There's a lot of fresh ideas and approaches, but also a lot of deep-continuity sequels and pay-offs and straight storyline repetition. The key to doing deep-continuity is always in doing it in a way that newer readers don't realise that's what it is.

Approach-wise a lot of the output feels really reminiscent of the mid 90s right now, with far too many titles and ridiculous high-concept idea after ridiculous high concept idea, which is just massively off-putting for people. Understandably. So the actual fresh stuff (King/Walta's Vision, Samnee's Black Widow) gets lost in the shuffle.

One thing I think they've done well is in having a subset of kid-friendly comics that are more in tune with the cartoons they release, separate from the mainstream continuity and focussing on a cast of characters that reflect the movies. That way a five year old can be given an Avengers comic without needing it explaining why Captain America is a black man, Thor's a girl, why Hulk and Hawkeye aren't in it, who Hercules is, etc etc.

IDW could really benefit from something similar, as at the moment (I think?) they've got no way of cashing in on the popularity of stuff like The Last Knight, having shot themselves in the foot early-doors on the movie comics by trying to pitch them at people who didn't like the movies.

They need to realise that, while you can attract fans from the 80s with stuff like All Hail Megatron, there's actually a whole generation of comic readers who've grown up with Bayhem as their first exposure to the franchise. There's money in them there explosions.

Cliffjumper
2017-06-03, 12:43 PM
IDW just seem incapable of leaving anything be... I'm years behind (what with most of it being shit) but I've got stuff sitting on my tablet ready to read but after Dark Cybertron yanked both books out and shook them around I really can't be arsed to read them; there's a lot to be said in the market for inertia and habit. You give people much of an excuse and they will drop the books; the sort of mindset of the comic buyer is that the things are still relatively cheap so you might as well complete the set, especially considering the average age of buyers is going up all the time. IDW don't need to appeal to Roberts' cultists, they would buy a comic that was just a typed polemnic on Brexit if it had his name on it. They need to appeal to lazy ****ers like me.

IIRC the rough rule of thumb for Diamond's charts is that an issue most likely sold what the issue published three or four months later charts with as that's about the run-up needed for stores to order, so the first 2-3 are just guess work (possibly even factoring in alternate covers). Handy graph, though; I had no idea the Barber book was outselling the Dreamweaver's opus.

As for digital I've said it before and I'll say it again - if we were talking much more than a thousand or so we'd be hearing numbers. Naturally MTMTE/LL's high position in digital charts due to double dippers not wanting to miss out on the Twitter bantz is a financial boon for IDW but honestly if digital sales for any title we'd be starting to see more series from more publishers switching to that format - not dippy little sidereal minis that have little to do with the ongoing material but titles actually switching to the format - things like Nova and Black Panthers Matter. It would be a genuine stage of the process like going bi-monthly or running reprints used to be as it cuts out the whole distribution and manufacturing aspect, not to mention the retailer-end ordering.

Brendocon 2.0
2017-06-03, 01:13 PM
Aye Marvel have experimented with "digital first" issues where the print version turns up a few weeks later, but I don't think any of them have lasted more than half a dozen issues.

Beyond that they've recently gone back to giving away free digital copies with the $3.99 books (usually now including a first chapter from a recent trade too). That's how desperate the market is for "oh my god will you please just switch to legally downloading so we can ditch the print model on some of these titles".

Profit margins on single issues are (from what I gather) an absolute pittance and Diamond's monopoly helps nobody but Diamond. The future lies in digital singles with retailers making their money on trades, but it just isn't happening yet.

Auntie Slag
2017-06-03, 01:13 PM
When MTMTE changed its title to Lost Light, Forbidden Planet cancelled my MTMTE order. There was no instruction to Forbidden Planet from IDW that LL is the new continuing title? No suggestion that maybe those MTMTE subscribers would like Lost Light?

Similarly the only Revolution title I was interested in was the Scavengers one. I had to order that in, as again the comic shop were none the wiser. Seems a bit bizarre.

Cliffjumper
2017-06-03, 04:12 PM
Aye Marvel have experimented with "digital first" issues where the print version turns up a few weeks later, but I don't think any of them have lasted more than half a dozen issues.

Beyond that they've recently gone back to giving away free digital copies with the $3.99 books (usually now including a first chapter from a recent trade too). That's how desperate the market is for "oh my god will you please just switch to legally downloading so we can ditch the print model on some of these titles".

Profit margins on single issues are (from what I gather) an absolute pittance and Diamond's monopoly helps nobody but Diamond. The future lies in digital singles with retailers making their money on trades, but it just isn't happening yet.

Yeah, if you're a publisher digital would be a dream - you're paying creators and maybe a licence (though presumably that amortises across a series or range) and that's basically it - little fee to Comixology or whoever aside the rest is surely profit, especially if you still have willing advertisers.

Problem is a gigantic proportion of the comic market is collectors - much more than that of other media that's seen digital make such huge gains like TV, film and music. The format is much more entrenched.

Warcry
2017-06-04, 04:42 AM
TAAO was the worst selling book month on month, remember it started a little before the other two, so the above graph is slightly out of sync there.
It's out of synch in terms of month published, but considering how so many comics seem to bleed readers every month these days, it may still be worthwhile comparing them based on issue number.

What surprises me, though, is that TAAO didn't have the same massive drop after issue #1 that the other books did. If anything, that tells me that it performed about as well as retailers expected it to, while the huge crash after #1 for Op and Lost Light tell me that those are doing worse than initially expected. It's been ages since I looked at sales, but weren't RiD and MTMTE both shifting around 9k monthly before they got the axe?

LL's bigger drop-off compared to where it was before is worrying (and some of his tweets recently suggest Roberts is a bit dumbstruck by this, he actually said on twitter the other day that it wasn't the right story to launch with and that's before it's even finished. Annoyingly this kills my "It worked OK as a first issue" arguments if even the writer doesn't think so!), but that book's always the one that's done better digitally and in trades (probably because a lot of the key audience aren't "Traditional" comic buyers), so it's probably on more of a level playing field with OP than it looks.
Honestly, as much as I was annoyed by where Lost Light was headed I suspect the whole "Hasbro Shared Universe" nonsense has more to do with it than anything. The main stories stopped for three months so that a big Hasbro-mandated crossover could permanently weld the Transformers titles to a bunch of stuff that practically no one cares about. G.I. Joe is popular but Joe fans don't want giant robots running around in their hoo-rah army fantasy any more than TF fans want camp gay army men running around in our giant robot fights. But if Skywarp is your favourite character, now you've got to read the Joe book to see what he's doing. And if you wanted to follow the further adventures of Prime on Earth...well shit, you'd better hope you like Joes, because they've been in all but one issue so far.

(Curious to see of the Joe books' sales are in the shitter too...)

It was a terrible idea and it would have had to have been executed brilliantly for the crossover sales to make up for the number of hardcore TF fans that they alienated. Obviously it wasn't, they haven't and I think that's a big part of the decline. And if Hasbro manages to sink their two actually successful comic properties by tying them to the anchor that is Rom, Micronauts, M.A.S.K. and whatever the hell other forgotten 80s properties they're trying to revive, then...well, good. I hope it teaches them a lesson.

Marvel and DC will probably get through the Death of Ideas / Shrinking of the Customer Base despite their recent offerings being reset and rehash (although arguably deserve to less) but it feels like IDW have shot themselves in the feet all the way up to the brain-stem and that unless digital or collected sales are great the TF comics lines are close to over.
I actually wouldn't be surprised to see Hasbro take comic production in-house like they did with the TV shows, if and when IDW loses the license. They definitely seem to see the value in the comics as a promotional tool, even if they're not especially profitable on their own.

Sales drop-offs like this are happening all over the place lately (a Marvel exec hilariously tried to blame it on "too much diversity") and the common consensus seems to be it's the issue 1 factor.
He was right, though. Not because people were looking at the books and going "Grrr! Minorities!", but because:

...why Captain America is a black man, Thor's a girl, why Hulk and Hawkeye aren't in it, who Hercules is, etc etc.
The movies are bringing in a lot of potential new readers and giving a lot of potential old readers motivation to get back into things, but the comic universe they find is almost unrecognizable. Captain America is a Nazi. Falcon is cosplaying as the new Cap. Thor's a chick. War Machine is dead. Iron Man is dead and there's an oversexualized 14 year old black girl flying around in the armour. Wolverine is a chick and/or a fogey. Hulk is a Chinese dude. Hawkeye was a chick too last I heard. Cyclops and Professor X are dead. Bendis is allegedly hellbent on making Myles the go-to Spider-Man in the main universe. Etc, etc., etc... Deadpool is probably the only one who's going to look "right" to someone jumping in from the movies. So they make like Grandpa Simpson and turn right back around and head out the door again.

(Curious how many of these have been retconned in the last few months since I pay so little attention to modern comics.)

Marvel had a great chance to create a whole new wave of readers by capitalizing on movie hype and publishing comics that would grab the attention of people who fell in love with Steve Rodgers, Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Clint Barton, James Rhodes, etc. at the movies. But instead they decided that now was the time to pander to small groups of vocal whiners on the internet who like to play identity politics. They had a chance to spur the greatest comic boom since the 90s but instead they blew their own foot off.

I'm not saying diversity is bad, or even that replacing existing characters is bad ("diversifying" the X-Men in the 70s was the best thing to ever happen to the book, and there are a ton of legacy characters I prefer over the originals, albeit mostly on the DC side), but this was a godawful time to do it. If anything, they should have been using the movies to bring attention to the diverse characters that Marvel already had. And in fairness, they have made War Machine and Falcon quite popular, even if it's mainly because Don Cheadle and Anthony Mackie are awesome.

Likewise, the Transformers books should at least make a token effort to catch the eye of people who love the Bay movies and their giant robots smashing shit. But anyone who picks up a TF comic after watching The Last Knight will be confused when they open it up and find either a boring book about politics (now with extra G.I. Joe!) or one that's mainly an excuse for quips and shipping when they came looking for fast-paced popcorn action.

Denyer
2017-06-04, 07:37 PM
If the Panini Essential X-Men title had been reprinting A-Force rather than the lacklustre selection of titles it chose, I'd have stuck with that as well. It's time-travel, alt-universe crap and event books that bother me rather than whether a title's perceived as a sop to SJWers. Next generation situations such as X-23 is as Wolverine can be fun, even if the Angel character bits seem to be pulled from that awful Black Vortex arc... refusing to let Logan sit things out for a while and just grabbing another one from somewhere else -- and from a fairly dire what-if-style story no less -- not so much.

Are there still two Hawkeyes? The series that had both Barton and Bishop in it was rather good from what I caught.

If it's possible to follow new stuff in team books and anthologies I'm more likely to check it out. If it's a Previews job and trying to work out which book fits where, very little chance.

Transformers... Hasbro has even less idea of quality control, judging by green-lighting various club comics, so that'd be the end of that...

Blackjack
2017-06-05, 08:02 AM
IDW don't need to appeal to Roberts' cultists, they would buy a comic that was just a typed polemnic on Brexit if it had his name on it. They need to appeal to lazy ****ers like me.

Yeah, I think this is kind of the crux of the problem. I haven't touched a Transformers book for a year now -- I have a pile of MTMTE TPB's that has been gathering dust on my table, but after the whole Dark Cybertron mess I stuck around for like a story arc or two before dropping it. Not because of quality or anything, but because of real-life business.

Now, I tried to get back to reading comic books about giant robots but just found it... so... inaccessible, I guess. Even with things like TFWiki giving me a list of the IDW titles and whatnot, things like enforced crossovers that forces me to read MTMTE and RID alternatingly -- or whatever their successors are called -- is just a huge pain in the ass that makes me go 'well, screw that, I just won't bother and I'll go do something else with my time'. Plus random cast shake-ups that are made in order to tie in with the newest toylines that's just annoying. Add that to the fact that apparently everything is in a shared universe with G.I. Joe and... a bunch of... other stuff I have never heard about in my life and it's just the final nail in the coffin for me.

Like, I have nothing against G.I. Joe crossovers. The ones made by Devil's Due were dumb fun with pretty art, and the ones that IDW published right around the time I stopped reading Transformers worked in their own way, but pushing this shared universe to the exclusion of any 'only Transformers' stories is definitely alienating me.

Add that to the strangely prominent focus on robots banging -- it was fine in earlier MTMTE when it's alluded to and part of the focus of some arcs, but yesterday I browsed through issue ten of TAAO in the comic book shop, and it's basically a full issue of Blast Off and Onslaught's weird romance drama, with Blastoff waiting for Onslaught to wake up from a coma and, and I'm like... yeah nope.

But if Skywarp is your favourite character, now you've got to read the Joe book to see what he's doing. And if you wanted to follow the further adventures of Prime on Earth...well shit, you'd better hope you like Joes, because they've been in all but one issue so far.

This, and, shit, like, reading any of the other titles will end up just having random tie-ins to the Skywarp or the Prime story and it's irritating.


The movies are bringing in a lot of potential new readers and giving a lot of potential old readers motivation to get back into things, but the comic universe they find is almost unrecognizable. Captain America is a Nazi. Falcon is cosplaying as the new Cap. Thor's a chick. War Machine is dead. Iron Man is dead and there's an oversexualized 14 year old black girl flying around in the armour. Wolverine is a chick and/or a fogey. Hulk is a Chinese dude. Hawkeye was a chick too last I heard. Cyclops and Professor X are dead. Bendis is allegedly hellbent on making Myles the go-to Spider-Man in the main universe. Etc, etc., etc... Deadpool is probably the only one who's going to look "right" to someone jumping in from the movies. So they make like Grandpa Simpson and turn right back around and head out the door again.

This is exactly me. I know jack shit about Marvel comics other than the very basics and what the movies and the odd tie-in game taught me, but I really liked the movies. So I tried getting into the comics, and the new ones are all but unrecognizable. The only real way to appreciate the characters I'm introduced to via the movies is to track down older material -- and it's a huge pain in the ass to do that, what with there being like fifteen different variations of the X-Men and Spider-Man titles and all that nonsense. Get the wrong book, or the wrong universe, and suddenly Emma Frost is the leader of the X-Mansion, Colossus becomes the Juggernaut, Spider-Man is possessed by Dr. octopus, Cyclops goes around shooting Magneto in the head, the X-Men fight the Inhumans for some weird reason, there are two Steve Rogers-es running around, and Giant-Man cannibalizes the Blob.

Like, I don't really mind having more diversity in the comics, but, jeez, there's a limit on replacing every single one of your A-lister characters with random people.

Denyer
2017-06-05, 07:41 PM
Most of that's random status quo flipping, but Emma being in charge of "good guy" teams has been a tradition for about twenty three years since Gen X.

Would recommend the Kieron Gillen stuff with Cyclops leading up a team of heavy hitters (a so-called Extinction Team to handle major threats) circa 2012, it's somewhat reminiscent of The Authority.

inflatable dalek
2017-06-08, 01:40 PM
On something more casual fan orientated, they did try with stuff based on the current cartoons that seems to have been well received and at least some of which was written by someone from the series.

When MTMTE changed its title to Lost Light, Forbidden Planet cancelled my MTMTE order. There was no instruction to Forbidden Planet from IDW that LL is the new continuing title? No suggestion that maybe those MTMTE subscribers would like Lost Light?

In fairness, I'd say it's a good thing that publishers can't sneakily subscribe you to their books without your permission!


Honestly, as much as I was annoyed by where Lost Light was headed I suspect the whole "Hasbro Shared Universe" nonsense has more to do with it than anything. The main stories stopped for three months so that a big Hasbro-mandated crossover could permanently weld the Transformers titles to a bunch of stuff that practically no one cares about. G.I. Joe is popular but Joe fans don't want giant robots running around in their hoo-rah army fantasy any more than TF fans want camp gay army men running around in our giant robot fights. But if Skywarp is your favourite character, now you've got to read the Joe book to see what he's doing. And if you wanted to follow the further adventures of Prime on Earth...well shit, you'd better hope you like Joes, because they've been in all but one issue so far.

See, I'd agree with all that, but it is odd that the book that has had the least to do with the Shared Universe stuff has taken the biggest hit.

I suspect the departure of Milne has been a big factor, I don't think Hasbro quite realised the extent to which it was seen (rightly!) as a joint creative endeavour and that it wouldn't be seen as the same thing with only Roberts aboard. At least not with how the transition was handled anyway...

But I'll be musing more on that when I actually sort out my thoughts on issue 6...

Cyberstrike nTo
2017-06-11, 09:11 PM
Likewise, the Transformers books should at least make a token effort to catch the eye of people who love the Bay movies and their giant robots smashing shit. But anyone who picks up a TF comic after watching The Last Knight will be confused when they open it up and find either a boring book about politics (now with extra G.I. Joe!) or one that's mainly an excuse for quips and shipping when they came looking for fast-paced popcorn action.


IMHO I would say that the number of people buying comics because of the movies is very small going back to early 00s when the superhero movies began to take off. I don't remember the then current X-Men and Spider-Man comics getting a huge a sales spike because those movies were huge hits. Most people don't want to read a 40+ year old story some of which spans across multiple books and some are downright confusing and some and/or most the titles that are no longer published and one would have to buy expensive and confusing TPBs and HCs (seriously Marvel and DC's collected editions are just as confusing as their comic book universe's continuity) with some of the characters that at best just barely even look and act like they do in the movies and TV shows.

The people who are buying comics are 30-40+ year old hardcore life long time fans and any new fans that are coming into comics are those fans' kids.

Cliffjumper
2017-06-13, 10:25 AM
Marvel tried to chase the movie buck in the very late nineties but it didn't go down well as normal people don't read comics and it was exactly what the existing readership didn't want. These days Marvel are in the same boat as Hasbro though in that they're probably making more through licencing films and non-specific merchandise. They'll keep the older stuff ticking over for when everyone gets bored of a superheroes (the Inhumans have always been chronically unpopular and sooner or later some idiot will try and do a Namor film) but they realise there's no crossover money.

As for Lost Light/MTMTE it's been vulnerable to sales loss since Roberts chose to chase the identity politics hipster audience, who were always going to desert at some point once the novelty wore off.

Warcry
2017-06-14, 07:35 PM
It's time-travel, alt-universe crap and event books that bother me rather than whether a title's perceived as a sop to SJWers.
I get what you're saying, but I think both in combination have been a drag on IDW's sales. When it comes down to it, if you want your book to be overtly political it also needs to be genuinely good (actually good, mind you, not "okay for a Transformers book" good), with strong characters and storylines that keep people coming back even if they don't always agree with or care about the message you're pushing. If your book is going to be a pile of bland comic book tropes (all the stuff you mentioned, plus characters that never really die and villains that pose no actual threat), and you offend people or bore them with your politics, they're out the door when otherwise they probably would have stuck around and read your mediocre story out of habit for years and years to come.

Most of that's random status quo flipping, but Emma being in charge of "good guy" teams has been a tradition for about twenty three years since Gen X.
I still can't fathom why anyone thought Emma would be a good fit as a good guy, let alone how it's stuck for so many years. She's never been a likeable or sympathetic character in anything I've read, whether the old stuff where she was a villain or the newer books where she's an X-Man.

I suspect the departure of Milne has been a big factor, I don't think Hasbro quite realised the extent to which it was seen (rightly!) as a joint creative endeavour and that it wouldn't be seen as the same thing with only Roberts aboard. At least not with how the transition was handled anyway...
That probably plays a big role too, you're right. The new artist isn't awful, but the PR around the switch certainly was.

The people who are buying comics are 30-40+ year old hardcore life long time fans and any new fans that are coming into comics are those fans' kids.
You're not wrong, and that's a big problem that the comic industry seems to be totally incapable of addressing. All they ever seem to do is double down again and again on the practices that started the problem in the first place (like constant crossovers, replacing popular classic characters with "modern" stand-ins that no one cares about and derailing their entire industry to commit heart and soul to passing trends).

But all that said, there are still hundreds of thousands of people actively buying comics, and under ten thousand of those paying for your average Transformers book. There's a veritable army of people who are now reading Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man or the Flash right now who grew up watching Transformers on TV, playing with the toys and even reading the Marvel comics who don't pick up the IDW books, and that's something they can do something about. When people like Brend or Cliffy (and I guess me too, since I haven't even read scans of the TF books in months, let alone bought one) who read other comics, are lifelong Transformers fans and have spent the last decade and a half posting about them on a message board aren't reading your TF comic, there is absolutely room to grow.

Marvel tried to chase the movie buck in the very late nineties but it didn't go down well as normal people don't read comics and it was exactly what the existing readership didn't want.
Normal people don't buy hundreds of dollars worth of toys for themselves as adults either, but the movies have still led to giant growth on that side of the fandom. Partly by making a generation of Chinese 20-somethings fall in love with the franchise, but also by bringing a lot of people who grew up with the brand in the 80s back into the fold. The exposure from the movies has led to all sorts of growth: far more lines and sublines from Hasbro and Takara, an exploding third-party scene, multiple TV series airing at the same time, several successful video games...IDW seem to be the only ones who can't figure out how to make an extra few bucks off of it.

Of course, their total inability to capitalize on opportunities like this is a big part of why the comic book industry is sinking to begin with. But it says a lot that with the franchise rolling in cash and the fandom larger than it's ever been, the only growth strategy that IDW can come up with is to pander to the shippers and Tumblr trendsters that Roberts accidentally attracted attention from. What's their backup plan for once the new readers move on to the next hot thing? Are we going to be getting overtly fascist comics three years from now in a vain attempt to try and wring a few sales out of the 4chan demographic?

Tetsuro
2017-06-14, 09:09 PM
Are we going to be getting overtly fascist comics three years from now in a vain attempt to try and wring a few sales out of the 4chan demographic?
I honestly want to see this happen just for the reactions of all the parties involved. Especially if it actually works.

But at the same time, not really. Nevermind the fact that /pol/ still admires Trump (although I haven't the faintest idea what degree of irony is involved), there is a reason it's considered a containment board, yet much like /b/ people love to use them as a representative of the entire website, even when there are other, far less vitriolic boards there. Plus I doubt anyone there actually buys comic books anyway.

Cliffjumper
2017-06-14, 11:18 PM
Normal people don't buy hundreds of dollars worth of toys for themselves as adults either, but the movies have still led to giant growth on that side of the fandom. Partly by making a generation of Chinese 20-somethings fall in love with the franchise, but also by bringing a lot of people who grew up with the brand in the 80s back into the fold. The exposure from the movies has led to all sorts of growth: far more lines and sublines from Hasbro and Takara, an exploding third-party scene, multiple TV series airing at the same time, several successful video games...IDW seem to be the only ones who can't figure out how to make an extra few bucks off of it.

Thing is after an initial boom from 07-09 it doesn't seem to have seriously helped the core business of selling actual Hasbro toys - the rising prices, dwindling quality, shrinking figures and desperate attempts to engage the kids with simplified toys are probably cause rather than affect. Honestly think the main reason we're getting something as fannish as Titan Masters is because HasTak are shoring up the baseline rather than trying to reach out and launch Chromedome to children.

The parallel to me is that Marvel also aren't selling a lot of their core 'old business' in terms of comics; they probably easily make more licencing Silver Age cover graphics to clothing chains than they do from comics. It is going to be very interesting to see what happens when the bottom inevitably falls out of the superhero movie market; naturally with Disney in charge they'll be alright in terms of not going under but yeah it could be interesting.

What's their backup plan for once the new readers move on to the next hot thing?

I think we're in the process of finding out. As I've mentioned ad nauseum I've got no further than the "send Whirl back in time because readers like him" issue (a recent re-read attempt ground to a halt after Dark Cybertron when I genuinely felt unable to open a file on the tablet which had Megatron with an Autobot logo on the front because I hated the comics ten times more second time around) so I've skimmed some of the threads here as I'm spoiler-proof and it sounds like things are getting seriously repetitive.

Like, even more repetitive than they were before when everyone had a Dark Mysterious Past and everyone did banter to hide Their Inner Secret Insecurity and everyone was pairing up and plot seeding consisted of some ambiguous frame or line six issues previously because Roberts crassly assumes none of his readers have anything to do other than cyclically re-read his work between issues (I mean, 75% of them don't but still).

andersonh1
2017-06-15, 03:41 PM
But why when it's not the worst selling TF book on the market? Oh yeah, got to get those sweet retweets and tumblr reblogs....

http://i.imgur.com/hOAoK3t.png

Those sales numbers are terrible. How is IDW still publishing anything Transformers related?

Warcry
2017-06-15, 05:00 PM
I honestly want to see this happen just for the reactions of all the parties involved. Especially if it actually works.
It would be kind of hilarious, but even if they actually liked it I'm pretty sure they'd still just pirate it like their comics board already does for everything now.

But at the same time, not really. Nevermind the fact that /pol/ still admires Trump (although I haven't the faintest idea what degree of irony is involved)
I think it's less irony than spite. He makes liberals really, really angry, so the really hardcore right-wingers are still going to be cheering him on even if they recognize he's a total train wreck. Even though he's obviously not going to do anything to advance their goals, he's still hurting "the enemy" and I think they're quite happy with that consolation prize.

Thing is after an initial boom from 07-09 it doesn't seem to have seriously helped the core business of selling actual Hasbro toys - the rising prices, dwindling quality, shrinking figures and desperate attempts to engage the kids with simplified toys are probably cause rather than affect. Honestly think the main reason we're getting something as fannish as Titan Masters is because HasTak are shoring up the baseline rather than trying to reach out and launch Chromedome to children.
I just don't think they'd be able to lean on their base like that if the movies hadn't expanded it so much. If the movies had never happened and the fandom had stayed at the (still considerable, but not nearly as large) size that it was in 2006, things like Titans Return or regular Masterpiece releases wouldn't have happened at all. The shelves would be filled with nothing but RiD product, and the Transformers section at stores would just be a lot smaller than it is today.

The parallel to me is that Marvel also aren't selling a lot of their core 'old business' in terms of comics; they probably easily make more licencing Silver Age cover graphics to clothing chains than they do from comics.
That's probably the case, but honestly I think you could say the same thing going back to when we were kids. There's a reason why Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and the X-Men were everywhere in toy stores in the 90s, and it's not because kids were picking up the comics. It was because of the TV shows and, in some cases, movies. And the amount of merch those shows moved was pretty significant.

So you could make the argument that comics have been a secondary medium for their own characters for a generation now.

It is going to be very interesting to see what happens when the bottom inevitably falls out of the superhero movie market; naturally with Disney in charge they'll be alright in terms of not going under but yeah it could be interesting.
I've been expecting to see the market start trending down for couple years now. It's actually pretty amazing how deep Marvel has been able to delve into their roster. People actually paying to go see a movie about Doctor Strange was the point where I finally admitted that the bubble wasn't going to burst any time soon, and I'm pretty sure there was a similar sentiment in the media when GOTG didn't tank. As long as the movies continue to be decent summer popcorn fare, I could see it going on for a very long time. I think the real test is going to be when the popular faces like RDJ, Evans, Hemsworth and co. decide they've had enough and the studio has to either recast the roles or replace the characters with less-popular Marvel heroes.

...and plot seeding consisted of some ambiguous frame or line six issues previously because Roberts crassly assumes none of his readers have anything to do other than cyclically re-read his work between issues (I mean, 75% of them don't but still).
No, no, I've been told repeatedly that I'm not allowed to criticize that because that's just how comics work nowadays, and expecting them to try and be accessible like they were back when they were actually popular is completely unreasonable. If we don't remember the plot device that was mentioned once half a year ago, it's 100% our own fault and we don't deserve to understand what's going on. :glance:

Those sales numbers are terrible. How is IDW still publishing anything Transformers related?
Probably because none of their other books are doing much better. Even with those dismal numbers, it seems like there's usually a TF book in their top ten in sales each month.

Cliffjumper
2017-06-15, 09:10 PM
I just don't think they'd be able to lean on their base like that if the movies hadn't expanded it so much. If the movies had never happened and the fandom had stayed at the (still considerable, but not nearly as large) size that it was in 2006, things like Titans Return or regular Masterpiece releases wouldn't have happened at all. The shelves would be filled with nothing but RiD product, and the Transformers section at stores would just be a lot smaller than it is today.

True; there surely has to be a sizeable adult fanbase to actually basically afford to collect Transformers now. While Legends/One Step Changers/Jumbo Machinders are all crap I do wish Hasbro would find some successful way of making the line more accessible to kids, though even Rescuebots are astonishingly expensive.

So you could make the argument that comics have been a secondary medium for their own characters for a generation now.

True, though I think things like the Timmverse and the Fox X-Men cartoons are to the current merch what Energon was to the live-action films - successful, yes, but not truly mainstream.

I've been expecting to see the market start trending down for couple years now. It's actually pretty amazing how deep Marvel has been able to delve into their roster. People actually paying to go see a movie about Doctor Strange was the point where I finally admitted that the bubble wasn't going to burst any time soon, and I'm pretty sure there was a similar sentiment in the media when GOTG didn't tank. As long as the movies continue to be decent summer popcorn fare, I could see it going on for a very long time. I think the real test is going to be when the popular faces like RDJ, Evans, Hemsworth and co. decide they've had enough and the studio has to either recast the roles or replace the characters with less-popular Marvel heroes.

They're being pretty smart in the genre-bending thus far and working the hype game nicely and the detail work is paying off nicely with the current "it's hip to be the right kind of geek" ethos - the low-key introductions of, say, T'Challa and Spider-Man have really worked well. They also have a possible shot in the arm if they can get the F4 and/or X-Men rights. But yeh, films on Strange and Lang going blockbuster is still incredible and they've even got people caring about Asgard.

I think for the cast they're at the right level to be sustainable; the actors seem happy enough that barring a big sea change they'd be happy to film the odd cameo every couple of years to keep their kid/teen cred up; I think so far they've picked nice established actors who are well-known but can't hold them hostage - using well-known guys means there's no chance of a situation where they stumble across the next big thing who does their contract and then refuses to return calls.

Whatever else you can say about the MCU, the PR has been absolutely spot-on as has the co-ordination - they know exactly who they're unlikely to be able to get back (e.g. Robert Redford) and thus kill them off and exactly who is always ready to work (e.g. Sam Jackson).

If we don't remember the plot device that was mentioned once half a year ago, it's 100% our own fault and we don't deserve to understand what's going on. :glance:

Heh; mind, anyone saying that seriously knows ****-all about how good comics work. I've read some ridiculously densely plotted stuff like Planetary, Locke & Key, Watchmen, New X-Men etc. where nuance, detail and density really work well and none of them treated their readership the way MTMTE and (presumably as Roberts is in his praise bunker) LL do. It's an elitism within elitism; God help the man/woman/genderfluid attack helicopter who doesn't realise the events of #26 weren't foreshadowed by a line in #11 or even suggesting the idea that simply mentioning something beforehand randomly and in no real context isn't actually foreshadowing if it's then effectively ignored until the writer needs it.

It's a difficult line to walk between seeding and sensationalism but to me it's one of Roberts' main weaknesses especially as MTMTE runs on sensational drama-bombs.

Take Magnus, for example - his apparent personality shift is a big enough thing to be brought up naturally several times without needing a sudden rush to revelations (the occasional "why are you getting so hung up on this stuff?" or "you used to be less of a pedant" followed by an evasive answer); instead there's (apparently) a throwaway line from Skids and that's it, with the result that it looks like the storyline's been made up last minute when some of the criticism leaked past the writer's normally watertight bubble of sycophancy and he had another one of his precious shit-fits. It's not like he's afraid to put endless go-nowhere water-treading dialogue in the book or anything.

Elsewhere some of it's handled really well like Chromedome and Eject V1; it doesn't quite unseat Midnighter/Apollo as the best reveal but it's not far off because they're built up nicely and organically.

Tetsuro
2017-06-16, 12:16 PM
It would be kind of hilarious, but even if they actually liked it I'm pretty sure they'd still just pirate it like their comics board already does for everything now.
And so does tumblr, and that's why Marvel shoving identity politics into every single comic they had was doomed to fail; the people who actually like that sort of thing are still not going to buy them, and the only people who will still buy them are the hardcore fans who I like to think know better than to accept hamfisted change in the name of "progress", and people who came from the movies expecting to see the same characters but instead got...I don't even know anymore, I lost track.

What I find funny is that DC has handled identity politics far better, they get pretty much ignored, and yet the last time I heard, 47 of the 50 top selling comic book titles were from DC. Only two were from Marvel.

Of course it would be naive to assume politics were the only reason for Marvel comics' unpopularity, the constant event spam definitely isn't helping. Somebody wants to follow, I dunno, Hulk or something, they pick up the book, and discover they have to read five other titles to figure out what's going on? That sort of thing turned me off from mainstream comics and that was back then they didn't do it every single goddamn year.

I think it's less irony than spite. He makes liberals really, really angry, so the really hardcore right-wingers are still going to be cheering him on even if they recognize he's a total train wreck. Even though he's obviously not going to do anything to advance their goals, he's still hurting "the enemy" and I think they're quite happy with that consolation prize.
I guess I should have figured that out really, considering how deep the divide between the American right and left have gotten in the past couple of years.

And by "couple of years", I should probably mean "since the 80's" since this whole situation started with Reagan coming into power, and I definitely blame his government repealing the fairness doctrine, too.

inflatable dalek
2017-06-16, 04:55 PM
Random thoughts on lots of posts:

I guess the indication of the importance of digital sales is that LL and TAAO are selling about the same physically but it's the latter that was ordered to be either relaunched or cancelled. That suggests digital is enough to keep LL above the waterline (if there was some sort of reboot coming there, we'd presumably know about it by now as it would be happening around the same time that TAAO will be wrapping up).

I honestly don't think the complicated nature of the ongoing plots is that much of a turn off for many people tbh. The book tootled along quite merrily for over four years with steady sales despite the backstory and LL launched very specifically with a storyarc where the A plot didn't need much more explanaition than "Mirror Universe", indeed, it seems to be delaying picking up on the big dangling plot from MTMTE as long as possible so as to bed in.

Plus, the book was always pretty good at doing the Babylon 5 thing of answering questions as it went along. Other than the central McGuffin of the quest for the Knights there's very few unresolved plot threads going back years and years (Scavengers and the mystery over Grimlock being the oldest I think, but that hasn't factored into the relaunch). Dying of the Light dealt with most of the outstanding old business that was left pretty well.

(It's all down to the the writing how things work of course, there was a callback in issue 6 of Lost Light to issue 5 a lot of people didn't get because it was a little clunkilly written. It's nothing to do with length of time)

plus, barber loves dealing with older plots that predate his own writing, something he's still cheerfully doing now (Hearts of Steel explained!), but OP has lost far less readers. That suggests this isn't the real issue.

Indeed, the complaints* from the so called hipsters and identity politics (or you know, young keen fans outside the traditional fanbase) on twitter hasn't been about any of the stuff we've been talking about, but about how much they disagreed with the end of issue 6.


*And anyone who think Twitter is an echo chamber isn't on there. People will happily tell you directly what you're doing wrong all the time and Roberts is clearly very aware this opening arc hasn't gone down great with many people.

I think we might be overcomplicating things a bit here, big sales drop across the board after a major relaunch suggests a badly done relaunch. Deciding to start with new issues 1s very late in the day (in that it seems when issue 57 of each book was written there was the assumption there'd be a 58 after Revolutions) certainly hasn't helped in terms of either author kicking things off smoothly, nor have the many dropped balls in promotion.

Personally I also think the shared Universe is a massive mistake in that it's aimed squarely at old fans. The aforementioned new readers probably weren't even born when MASK was a thing, let alone care about it or ROM or whatever. Suddenly having all these franchises they don't know and aren't interested in chucked in there with no attempt to get them onside as well is only going to alienate what has been the backbone of the comics for the last few years. And I don't think it's doing much to bring back tired old farts who might be interested in such things either.

And Disolution has been one of the weaker MTMTE arcs, which is a shame for such a key storyline even if the occasional miss is an inevitable side effect of anyone long running serialised fiction. But its issues are entirely structural and to do with the pacing of the FU and Necroworld plots. It reads much better in one hit but month by month it is unbalanced. But none of that is to do with continuity or banter or politics.

Brendocon 2.0
2017-06-16, 05:08 PM
*And anyone who think Twitter is an echo chamber isn't on there.

Anyone who's on Twitter and doesn't think it's an echo chamber hasn't been on there long enough / doesn't follow enough people / is lying to themself.

Sorry.

inflatable dalek
2017-06-16, 05:16 PM
Anyone who's on Twitter and doesn't think it's an echo chamber hasn't been on there long enough / doesn't follow enough people / is lying to themself.

Sorry.

Then I'd love to see the setting that only lets you see stuff that you agree with as I've clearly been doing it wrong all these years. Even amongst just the Transformers fans I follow there's a massive disparity in opinions on everything from comics to politics. And I don't have the dis/advantage of people cheerfully @ing me to tell me exactly what they didn't like as Roberts (and pretty much anyone with any sort of creative following as far as I can see) does.

tbh, you're probably going to get more varied and useful feedback from things like twitter these days than increasingly creaky forums.

Brendocon 2.0
2017-06-16, 05:47 PM
Then I'd love to see the setting that only lets you see stuff that you agree with as I've clearly been doing it wrong all these years.

Unfollow people. Block them. Mute them. There are lots of ways to insulate yourself from opposing views on Twitter. It's easy to get on without doing any of that when you follow under 200 people, but as the number goes up so does the wide range of absolute bullshit, and the only way to deal with it is by the previously mentioned methods.

At which point you realise a) all the stuff that was going on that you were completely oblivious to and b) that you're actively opting in to ignoring the things you don't like.

I'm not trying to frame this as a criticism of your approach or anything, it's just that, a lot of the time, part of being in an echo chamber is not realising that's what it is.

There are almost certainly people out there who tweet about how they hated this issue of TF, but they just don't feel the need to @ the creators in or use the official hashtag. And because they're not following/followed by the usual mob, nobody notices it. I never @ a comic creator unless I'm telling them I thought something was great, as I wouldn't want some random dickhead accosting me in the online street just to tell me I'm shit, so I try to afford them the same courtesy. And when people are part of "the crowd" sometimes they feel that voicing a dissenting view isn't worth the time as there'll just be a pile-on.

People on Twitter tend to follow people they agree with. And opposing views only tend to cross the feed when framed with "lol look at what this idiot said". Hey, maybe I'm wrong and 50% of the people you follow are random strangers from Twitter subcultures I've never even encountered, filling your feed with right wing neo nazi anime gamergate porn straight from Ecuador.

It's the same as how only associating with people in real life who you only think aren't dickheads is an echo chamber. Sure you know that the Daily Mail's a thing, but you isolate yourself from how many people really truly take it all to heart and think that you're the crazy one for not doing similar.

inflatable dalek
2017-06-23, 03:14 PM
Been meaning ton reply to this for a week. Still, I'm sure the length of time will in no way make this seem an even more underwhelming response that it might otherwise have been...



There are almost certainly people out there who tweet about how they hated this issue of TF, but they just don't feel the need to @ the creators in or use the official hashtag. And because they're not following/followed by the usual mob, nobody notices it. I never @ a comic creator unless I'm telling them I thought something was great, as I wouldn't want some random dickhead accosting me in the online street just to tell me I'm shit, so I try to afford them the same courtesy. And when people are part of "the crowd" sometimes they feel that voicing a dissenting view isn't worth the time as there'll just be a pile-on.

But that's a different point (I think! Apologies if I got this wrong!) to what Cliffy was making with the echo camber comment isn't it? He think Roberts is only hearing sycophants, not that he's not hearing the the right sort of criticism.

Roberts (at least at the time we interviewed him last least) does keep an eye on Twitter searches (and a quick double check just now suggests when you search words or an acronym like MTMTE results come up even if they haven't been hashtagged) and seems to be very aware of what people are thinking and saying. Sometimes he agrees (that this arc wasn't a great launching point), sometimes he doesn't (he seems a bit baffled by the reaction to the ambiguity of aspects of the end of 6), but he takes it on board at least.

I'm not actually sure what would be a better way for a creator to get general feedback and critiscm at this point even if it the system is flawed.

By the by, the last time I glanced at the TFW thread for LL 6 (because I was really curious about what it was that had annoyed folk so much about the ending) the big and most discussed problem on what is roughly speaking the biggest message board was the characters all talking like they were British when clearly alien robots who probably aren't speaking English in-fiction anyway should sound like Americans.

I'm not sure that's much more helpful than twitter.

Hey, maybe I'm wrong and 50% of the people you follow are random strangers from Twitter subcultures I've never even encountered, filling your feed with right wing neo nazi anime gamergate porn straight from Ecuador.

Well, if we're defining not being in a echo chamber as being exposed to every single thing ever then yeah, I'm in one. But I do think think I get a good broad spectrum of stuff on there. From left wing anarchists to a guy who happily poses for pictures with Boris Johnson whilst canvassing on his behalf.

A lot of the franchises I follow (especially, unsurprisingly considering it's John Wayne in SPACE, Transformers and perhaps more unexpectedly Star Trek) tend to skewer more to the right amongst the older fanbase anyway.

It's the same as how only associating with people in real life who you only think aren't dickheads is an echo chamber. Sure you know that the Daily Mail's a thing, but you isolate yourself from how many people really truly take it all to heart and think that you're the crazy one for not doing similar.

That's actually pretty much always been my thinking, if social media is an echo chamber then so is life generally.

For the record, going by real life people I know, the overwhelming majority viewpoint is that the best thing ever about Transformers is Megan Fox's tits, and the thing that has been wrong with Transformers recently is the absence of Megan Fox's tits.

Not related to Transformers, but what has really excited me about the recent UK election is that it was finally the tipping point where social media trumped the right wing press in reflecting what people were actually thinking.

Someone sooner or later is going to work out how to be the Rupert Murdoch of twitter (or whatever succeeds it) and we'll back where we started, but for now there's a real window of opportunity there that could change the world (or at least firmly get Labour in at the inevitable next election).

Brendocon 2.0
2017-06-23, 04:31 PM
But that's a different point (I think! Apologies if I got this wrong!) to what Cliffy was making

I don't read Cliffy's posts and neither should you.

That's actually pretty much always been my thinking, if social media is an echo chamber then so is life generally.

Is the macro version of the point I was making, yes. Everyone's in an echo chamber to varying degrees, all of their own construction.

Selkadoom
2017-07-14, 01:35 AM
I can't say I'm not disappointed in the cancellation of TAAO due to it personally being my favorite of the three (Yes I'm a filthy Starscream Mark and I adore political intrigue) but I do hope it goes out on a strong note and its stories fold into Optimus Prime and Lost Light for the sake of keeping tabs on Cybertron.